The loss of his mother due of lack of access to proper treatment when he was a boy inspired Ram Makaju Shrestha to become a doctor. After receiving his medical degree in Vienna, Shrestha returned to Nepal to set up Dhulikhel Hospital in 1996. At a time when quality health care service usually means large fees, Dhulikhel Hospital is truly an exception. Where similar hospitals charge more than NRP 300 for registration Dhulikhel Hospital charges only NRP 25 and NRP 150 a day for hospital services including 4 meals. The hospital is also a perfect example of how a community can be engaged and that collective action is in fact possible.
The hospital land has been donated by locals while infrastructure have been donated by international partners The management is run by established doctors and locals. The hospital has been smartly linked with Kathmandu University's Medical School which runs different levels of academic health programmes, and revenue from the academic program helps cross-subsidize health services for the patients. Through its Department of Community Programs, the hospital maintains 14 outreach clinics in rural areas providing round-the-clock healthcare services and also runs health camps, livelihood programs, 36 microfinance groups (each involving 10-12 women), and a program on improved cooking stoves.
In recognition of his contribution to affordable health care for all, Shrestha was honoured with the Gopal Kamala Raj Bhandari Rotary Award for Vocational Excellence in 2011 is currently the Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University.
For more information: http://www.dhulikhelhospital.org/